Are there any ‘rules’ that govern Facebook? At times, it seems to me, that Facebook is the new book of ‘Judges’ with each one ‘doing that which is right’ in his own eyes. One ‘comment’ prompts or stirs up another ‘comment’ and before long the original ‘point’ has been lost in a flurry of keystrokes.
I’m not persuaded that Facebook or Social Media is the place for reasoned discussion. It evokes ‘reaction’ ‘angst’ and ‘outrage’ and our ’emotions’ kick in before our ‘minds.’ Maybe sitting on your comments and prayerfully weighing them for several hours would be a good strategy!
In First Peter 3:9-12 Peter anticipates that Christ followers will at times be shown evil and will experience insulting comments. How should they (we) respond to such treatment? Ramp up the rhetoric, seeking to outdo our opponents? Or turn the tables on our opponents with grace-filled love?
Look at his admonition – “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
Blessings are available for inheriting, but they won’t be received by those who match evil with evil or insult with insult. It takes God’s grace to bless those who curse you. Witness the conduct of Jesus Christ in the heat of the moment as He was being spit upon, mocked, cursed and ridiculed. He ‘did not open His mouth.’ He remained silent so that even Pilate, the Roman governor who had seen his share of prisoners ‘marveled.’
In Peter’s instructive letter, he digs into the Old Testament to ‘prove’ his point. This is a common Biblical strategy – to quote the Old Testament to establish a New Testament principle.
The Spirit of God brings to Peter’s mind Psalm 34:12-16, thus he writes –
For, “Whoever would love life and see good days MUST keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech He MUST turn from evil and do good; he MUST seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to ther prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” [emphasis mine]
This is not optional, it is imperative! God is tracking the conduct of the citizens of earth. He (in today’s language) is reading their emails, noting their text messages, totally aware of the content of every Facebook post as well as the essence of every conversation.
If we desire God’s approval, (and His children do), we must allow Him to determine what is acceptable and what is not! While many assert their ‘right’ to say whatever they want, God’s children think differently. While ‘truth’ doesn’t matter to many, we, as followers of ‘the TRUTH’ are shaped by Him. While many advocate and endorse evil, God’s children do good not to gain God’s grace but to rather give evidence that God’s grace has renovated their thinking!
Perhaps an application (personal) would be to craft a personal code of conduct, a ‘rule’ to live by, a ‘grace filled standard’ that would demonstrate that we really have been ‘born again.’